Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Museum of Liverpool (part 1)

This is the new Museum of Liverpool. Local opinions are very varied about it but Partner-who-loves-tea and I were both most impressed.

Outside the entrance there are, one might almost say ‘of course’, a load of Superlambananas.  In the background of this shot you can also see the Liverpool Maritime Museum.

(I first mentioned Superlambananas in the context of a visit to the World Museum – the largest of the National Museums in Liverpool). 

In the foyer visitors were invited to take a pen (or pens) and write on a set of boards what freedom meant to them.

Some the museum has to do with Liverpool’s notorious history as a slave trade port.   Liverpool is also home of the International Slavery Museum. We are not short of museums in this one time European Capital of Culture.

This is a replica of a slave branding iron.  Dealers’ initials were burned into Africans’ skins before beginning the journey to the Americas.  Just one of the many horrors to which they were subjected.

This is the entrance to the East meets West section.

A silver cup, saucer, and sugar tongs and silver-plated teapot made in 19th century China for the European market and even including imitation hall marks to confuse the unwary.

A willow pattern soup plate made at the Herculaneum Pottery in Liverpool in 1808. 

Two birds flying high,
A Chinese vessel, sailing by.
A bridge with three men, sometimes four,
A willow tree, hanging o'er.
A Chinese temple, there it stands,
Built upon the river sands.
An apple tree, with apples on,
A crooked fence to end my song.

To read about the romantic fable and the secret Shaolin message behind willow pattern take a look at Wikipedia.

Some of my grandmother’s willow pattern is now in our house and we use for special occasion tea and cakes.

The 1881 Census recorded only 18 Chinese residents in Liverpool. In 1907 due to pressure from the Trades Unions the Corporation used fear of gambling and opium addiction as an excuse to launch an official enquiry into the growth of Chinese settlements in the community.  By 1911 Liverpool had the largest Chinese quarter in the country with several hundred resident Chinese, including many laundrymen scattered around the city. There were also a great number of transient Chinese seaman, cooks, stewards and stokers.

The Dai Hu – a unique Liverpool Chinese instrument. 

We’ll go upstairs in the museum on our next visit…


  1. Always good to see another museum. This one looks like an indoor skiing venue.
    I prefer the old Victorian museum layout and for the most part the quality of the exhibits.
    I did enjoy the 'free' girl here though.

  2. The building strongly reminds me of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. I wonder whether the same architect was at work.

  3. Lucky you to live near such interesting museums. And lucky us who get to see some of it through you :) I like blue-and-white china... I have six teacups and saucers which I think were my grandma's, stamped Woods, England... pattern called Seaforth.

  4. Since my husband is a Liverpudlian, I am recommending he read this blog.

  5. Thumbs up on the museum... thumbs down on the weird livestock/fruit combos. Too much like clowns. I hate clowns.

  6. impressively huge museum!
    I too hate clowns. But I enjoyed touring thru your lens.

  7. Very nice! Thanks for your post.

  8. Another 'must see'. I, too, dislike clowns but have a fondness for the Superlambananas if for no other reason than that they have such a wonderful name.

  9. I enjoyed this post, and learned a lot as usual. I was just settling in when you wrote "We will go upstairs in the museum on our next visit..."
    Like watching a tv program with all the excitement, then the words "To be continued" appears across the screen.
    Can't wait for your next installment.


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